- "You can take the hero out of the X-Men, but you can't take the X-Man out of the hero."
- ―Henry McCoy
Henry Phillip McCoy was born on May 29, 1986 to Edna and Norton McCoy in Dundee, Illinois. His father worked at a nuclear power plant where he was exposed to massive amounts of radiation during an accident. Norton was completely unharmed, but the radiation was believed to have affected his genes and, as a result, his son was born a mutant. Unlike most mutants, Henry showed signs of mutation from birth with unusually large hands and feet. A prodigy, McCoy was also endowed with an innate superhuman intellect and during adolescence he gained the power of simian-like augmented agility, reflexes, and strength.
He attended Dundee-Crown High School where he was shunned by the 'popular' kids. McCoy only started "coming out of his shell" thanks to Jennifer Nyles, a classmate he was tutoring in biology. In their study sessions she got to know him well, and on the night of their junior prom she showed up with a rented tux and told him he was taking her to the dance. When some of the kids at the dance starting jeering at the new couple, Nyles hauled off and decked the lead heckler with a single punch. The duo admitted they were in love with each other and were inseparable from then on. In his senior year in high school, the football coach asked him to kick a football and he kicked the skin off of it. He then threw a 90-yard pass that knocked the coach off his feet. The coach was still leery about letting McCoy on as quarterback until Jennifer strong-armed him into doing it. He joined the team and where he earned the nickname "Magilla Gorilla" and became known as "the Beast" and "the boy with the Golden Arm". He and Jen went in different directions after high school as he stayed in the US while she went to London studying genetics, though they still kept in touch.
McCoy had earned a scholarship with Northern Illinois University and decided to go to school there. In addition to his studies, he also joined the football team where he served as the starting kicker after beating out his competition as well as a backup quarterback. During one of McCoy's college games, three masked men robbed the stadium and tried to escape across the field. Henry kicked a ball and knocked down the first man with it. He then grabbed two helmets and knocked out the other two men. One of the robbers was still conscious and pulled out a grenade, threatening to release the pin. But before he could do anything McCoy climbed to the top of a goalpost and leaped onto the man, taking him down. When his escapades were shown on the evening news, the school assumed he had superhuman abilities and was immediately kicked off of the team. Over the subsequent weeks that followed he was encouraged by the school to stop attending all together so as to avoid any more scrutiny.
Joining the X-Men
McCoy ultimately adhered to the school's requests and transferred to Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. During his stay at the university, McCoy only focused on academia and abstained himself from joining any sports teams in light of what had occured previously. Months later, when his parents first came to visit him, a criminal known as the Conquistador decided that he could use him as a weapon in his plans as he assumed that it was the same Henry McCoy he had heard about in the news. After testing his reflexes to see if it was him, the Conquistador managed to apprehend the young mutant. However, he had also kidnapped Henry’s parents. He then forced him to steal an experimental device for him in exchange for the McCoy’s lives. However when he returned the device to him, the Conquistador told him that he would keep his parents indefinitely. McCoy attempted to escape and just when he was about to be killed, the X-Men arrived, having registered the mutant activity. Together, he and the X-Men defeated the Conquistador and his men. He joined the X-Men as the Beast, since that was one of his previous nicknames.
Personality and traits
- "Well, you see, unfortunately, I was... I was cursed with high intelligence. So I... I really have no choice but to use it."
- ―Henry McCoy
Henry McCoy was a highly intelligent, laid back and optimistic individual. He loved to laugh and make jokes and often tried to lighten up tense situations with his sense of humor. Unlike some of the X-Men, he always spoke his mind, never hesitating. Although Henry possessed an immense intellect, he slacked at school because of his preoccupation with being a sports star. He also at times appeared to be impatient, making rash decisions and allowing his instincts to take over. He was also brave, enjoyed fighting, and was very competitive.
He owned a blue Jeep Wrangler modified for off-roading, when he would go do punky type things with his punky best friend Scott Summers.
- "Just tell me there's coffee."
- ―Henry McCoy
Henry McCoy was a punk.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength: Beast possessed some degree of superhuman strength, the limits of which had varied at times due to subsequent mutation. During his teens, he was able to lift approximately 1 ton. As he had gotten older, his strength had increased to the point where he could lift about 10 tons, which was sufficient to smash through a brick wall with a single punch and to tie an iron barbell into a knot.
- Superhuman Speed: Beast could run and move at speeds that are slightly beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. He could run at speeds up to 40 miles an hour over short distances, particularly if he ran on all fours.
- Superhuman Stamina: Beast's highly advanced musculature produced less fatigue toxins during physical activity than that of an ordinary human. He could exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood began to impair him.
- Superhuman Durability: Beast's bodily tissues were harder and more resistant to certain types of injuries than the bodies of normal humans. His physiology could withstand great impact forces, though he could be injured by many types of conventional weapons such as standard firearms and bladed weapons. However, he could withstand physical impacts, such as falling from several stories or being physically struck by many super-humanly strong beings that would either severely injure or kill a normal human with little to no discomfort.
- Superhuman Agility: Beast's agility, balance, and bodily coordination were enhanced to levels that were beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. Like some of his other powers, his agility had varied at times due to ongoing and subsequent mutations. He could walk a tightrope or a slack rope as easily as most people could walk on a sidewalk. He could also walk on his hands for many hours, or perform a complicated sequence of gymnastic stunts such as flips, rolls, and springs. He could easily match or top any Olympic record in gymnastics.
- Superhuman Dexterity: He could perform many tasks with his feet as easily as a human could do with his hands. His manual and pedal dexterity were so great that he could write using both hands at once or tie knots in rope with his toes. Although he could still perform many of these same tasks in his current human form, his dexterity isn't quite what it once was.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Beast's metabolism enabled him to repair mild to moderate injuries much faster than a normal human. For instance, he could recover from minor ailments, such as a cold, within a few hours. More severe injuries, like broken bones, could heal within a few days, whereas normal humans might take weeks or even months.
High Intellect: Henry McCoy's greatest asset was his keen scientific mind. He possessed extraordinary expertise in genetics, biochemistry, electronics and other subjects. Henry was also an accomplished guitarist and keyboard musician.
Hand to Hand Combatant: The hyperactive, bouncing Beast was an excellent hand-to-hand fighter. He gained his initial combat training from Professor Xavier, and then continued his tutelage in combat from Wolverine. He used a mix of a freestyle form of combat, and brawling/street fighting tactics.